Exploding computers, and free food of the days of yore

I do apologize for the lack of a post last weekend. I spent all of my free time that week dealing with … well …. this:

I got out my iFixit toolkit and put humpty dumpty back together again as best I could (lots of stripped screws and cables held in place by tape because the retainers had broken). Then, I pressed the power button, and the whole board shorted out:

The laptop was pronounced dead at 1300 hrs.

The chaos that ensued included finding an old, used laptop and getting Linux installed in such a way that it will boot, salvaging .bashrc files, trying to get the corrupted OS on my Raspberry Pi (which serves as my poor-man’s NAS server) to talk to my Windows box over my home network, and having to reinstall the OS on said RPi so that I could set up a CIFS file share (as installed, the pi wouldn’t run the SMB daemon). And other acts of a very nerdy nature.


Not Discussing Religion


It is Easter weekend, see. So as much as I would like to close out the ongoing ill-advised series that I am running, it seems like it would be an impropriety to do so.

So, instead, I went into the catacombs and found a post from my old old blog that was published way back in 2013, but is quite timely due to the time of year.


The following was originally posted April 16, 2013:


How President Obama Helped Me Get a Free Steak Dinner


Yes. Barack H. Obama, The President of the United States of America, is largely to thank for me getting a free steak dinner. Curious? Proceed onward, noble reader!

I don’t know anything about College Basketball. In fact, I know extremely little about the game of Basketball in general. I know that I was embarrassingly bad at it in middle school gym class, and have always found it to be an overly frenetic and difficult sport to follow, preferring instead the nuance of Baseball or the measured play of American Football. But this year, when the annual NCAA Mens Basketball Playoff Bracket contest was announced at work, with the grand prize being a $20 voucher for Texas Roadhouse, I decided that I couldn’t just leave that cholesterol-laden goodness on the table.

I could have simply completed the bracket at random, but I don’t like doing things randomly. Also, some of my coworkers follow Basketball pretty closely, and their brackets would be much more accurate than one done randomly. So, I did what any good politics nerd would do:

Image

I waited until March 20th – the day that our brackets were due. This was also the day that President Obama executed his annual tradition of announcing his bracket on ESPN. As soon as it was available, I copied the President’s picks onto my own bracket and turned it in.  I figured that if I didn’t win, I could make a “Thanks, Obama!” joke.

Sure enough, the President’s bracket beat all of my coworkers’ brackets, and as of today I am the proud owner of two $10 vouchers for Texas Roadhouse. I don’t know when I will use them – probably soon. But I do know that it will be delicious. And I can say – in earnest – Thanks, Obama!


Present-Day Matt: I ended up hanging onto those vouchers until I eventually quit that movie theater job, then used $10 of them one day, and the other another day. The food was, indeed, quite good, though I think that I ended up getting a Chicken Critter Salad and some of Roadhouse’s amazing rolls, rather than an actual steak.

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